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Are teams overvaluing draft picks?

We keep hearing that teams don't want to give up a draft pick to sign free agents who received a qualifying offer. Are they making too big a deal about these picks?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday night, the Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez.

People might not be absolutely dancing in the streets over the signing, but it is an even-money bet as to who is more relieved by the deal, Orioles fans or Jimenez himself. Orioles' fans have seen the Red Sox go from worst to first and then watched as the Yankees bought up all the best the free agent market had to offer, while their team's front office twiddled its thumbs. Now, they have at least addressed their biggest weakness by adding two more arms to the rotation picture over the last few days. On the opposite side of the equation, Ubaldo Jimenez watched as the baseball world turned away from established MLB free agent pitchers and put all its focus on Japan's Masahiro Tanaka, and then saw the market remain hesitant in the wake of his signing. Fears that he might be this winter's Kyle Lohse couldn't have been far from his mind. He probably entered the offseason hoping for more than four years, $48 million, but at this point, such a deal seems pretty solid for a guy who has struggled as much as he has at times.

At the heart of the collapsing market for Jimenez, fellow starter Ervin Santana and shortstop Stephen Drew is the cost of draft picks that comes with signing them. I've tried to place a dollar amount on the draft pick cost in the past, and it certainly isn't negligible, but given the hesitation teams are exhibiting when it comes to parting with draft picks, it appears that they might be putting a little too much value on these picks. What is your take? Are teams overvaluing the cost of a draft pick when looking at qualifying-offer free agents like Jimenez?

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